DETROIT—Today, Congresswoman Rashid Tlaib (MI-13), Congressman Andy Levin (MI-09), and five other members of the Michigan congressional delegation, sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler urging him to rescind its March 26 guidance, which announced it would suspend active enforcement of many important environmental policies due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our home state of Michigan cannot afford an indefinite period of corporate self-regulation. Time and time again the value and importance of EPA’s environmental protection is on display in our great state,” the lawmakers wrote. “This is the wrong time, when our health care system is overloaded and our public health resources are strained, for EPA to retreat from its environmental protection duties.”
The EPA guidance said the agency would not expect to seek penalties for non-compliance “where the EPA agrees that COVID-19 was the cause of the noncompliance and the entity provides supporting documentation to the EPA upon request,” but Reps. Tlaib and Levin say their home state of Michigan has already suffered the consequences of giving corporations any sort of leeway.
“Already this year we have seen high-profile EPA responses to toxic green ooze leeching from an illegal dump site and a riverfront dock collapse at a site contaminated with radioactive material–these accidents that threaten public health and the environment are precisely what happens when corporations regulate themselves without any additional oversight,” they wrote.
Reps. Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Dan Kidlee (MI-5), Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), Haley Stevens (MI-11), and Elissa Slotkin (MI-08) co-signed the letter.
It can be read in its entirety here.